Are food additives safe? The answer is…no one really knows!

My Health & Fitness column in the Aiken Standard this week is about the safety of food additives. It was inspired by a recent article and editorial in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Neltner TG, Alger HM, O’Reilly JT, Krimsky S, Bero LA, Maffini MV. Conflicts of Interest in Approvals of Additives to Food Determined to Be Generally Recognized as Safe: Out of Balance. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():-. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10559.
Nestle M. Conflicts of Interest in the Regulation of Food Safety: A Threat to Scientific Integrity. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():-. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9158. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1725122

Basically, many commonly used food additives have not undergone adequate testing for safety and approval by the FDA, mostly because everyone (literally, everyone) who serves on the panels that approve these additives as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) is either directly or indirectly paid by the additive manufacturers. And that just ain’t right!

If you are interested in food additives and other aspects of food safety, nutrition, and health, here are two excellent resources:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest report on food additive safety : http://www.cspinet.com/reports/chemcuisine.htm

Marion Nestle, the author of the editorial mentioned above, has an excellent blog about all aspects of nutrition, including food additives and safety:  http://www.foodpolitics.com/

One response to “Are food additives safe? The answer is…no one really knows!

  1. Pingback: On the topic of food additives: Why there is seaweed in your ice cream. | Dr. Brian Parr

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